Main | Melissa Ann Riggio 1988-2008 »

Me and my friend Rachel Fuller

Rachel is a good friend - she has helped me develop my talent as a singer songwriter. Without her encouragement and wisdom, my dreams would have stayed just dreams. Thanks Rachel, you're the best.

Comments (30)


We will miss you sweet one.

Julie Granata:

I just heard the news and am very saddened. You will always be an awesome inspiration for so many people, including those like us that do not know you personally. Your spirit will live on forever in the beautiful songs you wrote and your amazing spirit. God bless you and your family & friends,
Julie Granata
Mom to Haley & Nikki, 5 yr identical twin girls both w/DS, and Joey, 4 yr son

Melissa, you are such an inspiration. Emma Sage just loves to sing your song.....what a gift you have given the world.

Melissa S:

Dear Melissa,

I was at a work dinner tonight, and one of my publishing business collegues from Germany quoted something your uncle had said. I had just told this man that I have a new baby at home - 14 weeks old - that has Down syndrome. When he said the name of your Uncle, I told him that it was interesting that he would bring him up, because he has a niece with Down syndrome just like my little girl!

That conversation made me come and look up information about. I'm so impressed with all you have done. I hope my little girl grows up to be like you - I couldn't dream of anything more. She also has two sisters.

My best,

Dear Melissa,
Thank you for your inspiration! My daughter Bridgette was born on Feb 13, 2005 with Down Syndrome. She has taught me many things in last 30 months. Mostly, to go after our dreams. We started our business because of Bridgette, and hope to someday have Bridgette become the first CEO with Down Syndrome for our company (if she would like the job, of course). My family loves your website and look forward to your blog articles.
Take care and thank you!


Great songs.Not just for somebody who has down syndrome but for anybody who can write songs.I have a daughter with down syndrome who will be 18 in feb. She is my whole reason for being.I will check back for more info on you.
Thanks for being you and sharing with everybody.

Brittany's Mom julie


Dear Melissa

I've just found this wesbite - and the national geographical one - and had to leave you a comment.
I think you are amazing! You are an inspiration to alot of people out there, who have children with down syndrome or people who work with children who have down syndrome.
You just prove that you are a normal person, getting on with life, acheiving goals and you are beautiful!
Keep up the brilliant songwriting!
You are a true inspiration!

Dear Melissa,

I just listened to your two songs and I think your lyrics with Rachel's music are absolutely beautiful.
While I was listening to "The Ring" I managed to finish writing something that was troubling me for weeks! I guess the song inspired me...
There are a lot of magical references in your songs and I love that.

You are a lovely and beautiful (and don't forget v. talented) girl!

I wish you all the best in your life and career
Lots of love,
Marietta (from Greece - via London, LOL)


Hi Melissa,

Just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you are not only to kids with Down Syndrome, but also their parents! My youngest son is almost 2 1/2 and he has DS. I can tell he already loves music and when he is a little older I know he is going to be watching your career closely! We link to your song "The Ring" on our blog, so more and more people can be amazed by your poetic ability. My 10 year old daughter loved reading about you in the National Geographic Kids article too!

All the best,


Hi Melissa. We are so impressed by your talent. You are such an inspiration to so many people. My son Joseph has down syndrome and you are a role model for him. We loved your essay in National Geographic.

Best wishes,

Amy, Chris, Emma & Joseph

I visited your web site after reading an article about your poems and music in the Tampa tribune and have enjoyed visiting it while listening to your beautiful songs.

You are a very talented youg lady. Thank you for sharing your poems and for a bit of pleasure this afternoon listening to the music that you and Rachel have created together.

I wish you continued success in your writings and your life.

MIlly Craven

David Faimali:

Dear Melissa,

I have been reading so much about you in the papers and now I see this wonderful website. You are blossoming into a talented artist and writer and I am so proud to know you.

I will never forget the feeling I got the first time you played "The Ring" for me. I am so happy that you are continuing your writing.

David Faimali


Hey Melissa!!
Its Mary, your friend. I just wanted to say that you are a great person. I don't think I would have the guts to sing in front of alot of people. You inspire me alot to be myself. You are turning into a celebirty almost. Who knows? Maybe you will be doing an interview on TV. That would be amazing. I would stay home just to watch you. Keep being who you are. Love ya girl!!
xoxo Mary BFF


Hi Melissa
I'm Bex - Rachels younger sister.
I just want to say how STUNNED I am by you.
Your lyrics are ABSOLUTELY beautiful and very inspiring.
I am SO pleased you performed with Rachel at B&N - I know it means a LOT to her - and to you too.
And WOW at your piccie on the single cover - FANTASTIC - you are very beautiful.
I also love all the photos Jason has put up on his site - I know what a Rachel Hug feels like and whilst I miss her being away I am glad you got her Hugs!!!!!
I'll be checking back - because I think you have LOADS more we need to hear about xxxxxxx
Love and a VERY big hug Bex xxxxx

David Shatto:

Hi Melissa

Thanks for signing the CD's for me yesterday.

You and Rachel were great.

You are very talented, very brave and as Rachel said very "brilliant."


Dear Melissa,

I am thrilled that you and Rachel have been able to work together. You both make incredible, moving music. Keep doing what you're doing. We love it!!

-The Rachel Fuller Forum
A Place for Fans and Friends

Kim Cherevas:

Dear Melissa,
It was such a pleasure to meet you today
and hear your songs. Your lyrics are beautiful
and I can see why Rachel was so inspired to
put your poetry to music. You make a great team! Thank you for a wonderful experience this daughter Alexandra enjoyed the event and was very happy to meet you too.
Sending you lots of good wishes and happiness
for the future, Kim C.


You were FANTASTIC today! Your words and Rachel's music are a magical combination - and I was so proud of you for showing all of us that having Down syndrome doesn't mean that you need to be limited in any way. Hey, you've performed for all these people and have two CDs out - I'd say you're setting an excellent example not only for kids with Down's, but for EVERYONE. You're an inspiration!

I took some pictures of today's show - hope you like them! I grew up watching Bob on TV, and I admit I was a little jealous when I saw him interview you - I always wanted to be interviewed by Bob! :)

Enjoy and I can't wait to hear about your future plans.

All the best,

Jason Hare

Hi Melissa, Just heard your Songs They are exquiste and magnificent at the same time. Rachel is such a sweet person I'm Glad she could put music to your words so Eloquently. She truly a good friend to have.

Hope to hear more from you in the future and good luck.

Jeff Johnson

Hi Melissa, I heard your songs today, "The Ring" and "Love is a Potion". Good stuff! There's an honesty to your words that I think is very brave. It's not easy sometimes to write about love and
being yourself.I know. :)
I hope you are proud of yourself, you should be! xoxoxoLisa ( aka Nabonidus or "Nab" for short):D


Dearest Melissa,

I was so proud of you today. I know you were a little nervous, and to sing in front of all those people takes real courage!
You signed so many cds! consider yourself a little famous now!
You write such beautiful poetry and i hope we will write some more songs together.

Much love always,


Hi Melissa!

I have just been listening to "Love Is A Potion" and "The Ring". Just wanted to post a comment that I love them both, and your lyrics are really beautiful!

Hope we will hear much more of you!

Maria Niku, Finland

Colleen Allison:

Hi Melissa,

My sixth son, Nate, is almost 2 and 1/2 and he has Down Syndrome. He and I listened to your song "Ring" today over the internet. How beautiful. Thank you for your words.

I enjoyed visiting your web site and seeing all your pictures. What an interesting life you lead. My husband is the CEO of the YMCA here where we live--what job do you do at the Y?

Take care--keep creating songs!


We are excited to see your website and blog.....and we love your song 'The Ring'. My youngest daughter also has Down syndrome, and you are such an inspiration to her and our family. She loves to sing just like you and tells us that she is going to be on American Idol.....and I believe if she has the same spirit and love of music that you do, she will someday be up on that stage performing.

Keep being you are truly an amazing and wonderful young lady!

Peace, Tara Marie Hintz and Emma Sage Hintz & family

I first heard about you from your article in National Geographic. My 8 year old daughter came running into the room screaming when she received her magazine. Her 7 year old sister who has Down syndrome was thrilled to see it too!

Thank you for being such an inspiration and a great advocate for thousands of people and families! Your songs are beautiful!
Keep up the good work!

Melissa, You are truly an inspiration. My daughter that has Down syndrome is almost 7 and is the joy of our family. I first read about you in National Geographic for kids when my 8 year old daughter came running into the room so excited to see you in her magazine! And my 7 year old was thrilled when we showed her as well. Keep advocating, you speak for thousands of people and families! We appreciate you! Nicole Maher


Dear Melissa,

Thanks for having the courage to put yourself out there. I really admire that.

I hope we get to meet one of these days. Perhaps you'll even autograph my cd. :-)

And early congratulations on graduating high school. Any idea what comes next?

(A friend of your dad's.)

P.S. Loved the pictures. You are quite the celebrity jet setter. lol

Sabrina Rood:

Hi Melissa!

I love "The Ring" and listen to it all the time. It's so beautiful and inspiring, and it calms me. I got to meet your dad at the bookstore here in Minneapolis when Rachel and Pete played. He showed me the National Geographic Kids magazine with you in it. That was exciting to see!

I'm happy you have more songs to share. Thank you.


Hi Melissa

We met at Joe's Pub.

I loved the song/CD you did with Rachel.

I hope to see your Dad at a Who concert soon.

Keep writing those great songs.

Take care,


Hi Melissa!

Love your new site!


Peter Farago

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